Do I need a divorce lawyer?
We are very much in favour of keeping legal fees down and that is why we present so much information on our website. However, despite this, it makes sense to get a lawyer involved in your divorce. At the very least, you should arrange an initial consultation with a divorce lawyer so that you can get a better understanding how the law applies to the specifics of your case. A lawyer is also essential for drafting a separation agreement.
How do I choose a divorce lawyer?
The most important thing is to choose a lawyer whose entire practice is devoted to family law. Family law is quite complicated and changes regularly – it’s too difficult to dabble in it on the side.
Each divorce lawyer has their own personality and style of approaching cases. You want to ensure that this matches your personality and how you want to approach your case. There are divorce lawyers who will make mountains out of every molehill, divorce lawyers who will litigate everything, and divorce lawyers who will always make a good faith effort to negotiate before going to court. You need to decide what will work best for your case.
How much does a divorce lawyer cost?
There is a wide range, depending on where you are located in Canada and the experience of the lawyers. Divorce lawyers in the NHL markets (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton) are significantly more expensive than lawyers in other locations. You can expect to pay from $100 to $500 or more per hour. To a certain extent, you get what you pay for.
What if I can’t afford a divorce lawyer?
Depending on the issues involved, and your financial situation, you may be eligible for free help from a divorce lawyer through legal aid. Each province and territory has its own criteria. For instance, normally legal aid will help with disputed custody and access, and obtaining child support, but not with property division, negotiating a separation agreement, or obtaining a divorce. Financial eligibility is normally determined by looking at income, family size, and assets.
If you are self-motivated and willing to work hard, another option is coaching. This is a great option for people who are going through a divorce, are not eligible for legal aid, but do not have a lot of money. It is also a great option if your spouse is legally aided and because of this protracting your litigation because it does not cost him or her anything. It can also be an option for people who are asking for a reduction in the amount of child support they are required to pay. Under this option, you handle the issues in your divorce yourself, but regularly consult with your divorce lawyer regarding strategy and regarding the finer points of law. Basically you are self represented, but the divorce lawyer is in the background guiding you along.
You're Invited to Contact Us!
If you are considering divorce -- or have already made your decision -- you're invited to email me on my contact form. I'll explain how you can protect your legal rights, reduce the expense of divorce, and protect your children from undue emotional stress.